PJ and I spent the first part of our Thanksgiving break with my family in San Antonio. We did the same thing two years ago. (This time we stayed with my sister, since her in-laws weren’t there.) On Wednesday, we paid a second visit to some of San Antonio’s missions, most of which date back to the eighteenth century, which is my period of study.

Last time, we visited Mission Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion de Acuna, the Alamo, and Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo. This time, we started with a return visit to Mission San Jose and then visited two new ones: Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission San Francisco de la Espada. Again, the weather was great, and we had a wonderful time visiting the missions.

Partly, I like the history of these buildings and their compounds. I also like that these missions continue to serve as parish churches. And finally, I love the architecture of the missions. The angles, ruins, and shadows are beautiful to see and photograph. I just wish I were a better photographer.

Despite my limitations as a photographer, I figured I would mostly just sample the pictures I took and then maybe write a little about what I liked about some of their subjects.

Here are some of my pics from Mission San Jose. Many are similar (or even the same) as the ones I took two years ago:

Mission San Juan is smaller than San Jose, but it has some interested features. The entrance way, for example, is one of them:

I also love the mission’s walls:

I really liked this Madonna and child too; it’s beautiful in a rustic sort of way:

And finally, Mission Espada also has great walls and architecture:

As you can see, I really love the stone walls!

I also enjoyed comparing the chapels in the church of each mission. San Jose’s chapel was relatively modest with some interesting art that depicted the life of Christ:

Mission San Juan was more ornate and featured a replica of the body of Christ (or I assume that’s what it is) in addition to other art works:

And finally, the chapel in Mission Espada is somewhere in between:

I took lots of other photos, but this seems like enough for one post! I really enjoyed the visit to these missions, and I highly recommend them to anyone interested in religion, history, and architecture.

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